02/18/08 — Tesar reaches 200-win mark in varsity career

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Tesar reaches 200-win mark in varsity career

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 18, 2008 2:28 PM

WINTERVILLE -- A solid corps of Wayne County grapplers, including three regional champions, seek gold medals once more in next weekend's N.C. High School Athletic Association individual wrestling championships.

Thirteen wrestlers qualified for the Class 3-A portion of the two-day meet in Winston-Salem, while three advanced on the 1-A/2-A scene.

Leading the group is Eastern Wayne senior Chris Tesar, who added several more accomplishments to his stellar prep career. The 125-pounder set three program records -- career wins (200), regional titles (four) and is the first-ever, four-time state qualifier under head coach Mike Brown.

Tesar remained unbeaten in 47 outings this season with a 9-6 decision over Jacksonville's Jon Langholtz in the 125-pound eastern regional finals contested at South Central High School. Tesar boosted his varsity career record to an astonishing 200-9 overall.

While Tesar continued his record-setting pace, four Warrior teammates secured trips to the state tournament. Brandon Darby (171 pounds) and Foy Coley (215) each finished as runner-up in their respective divisions. Jordan Harris (119) and Zach Hahn (135) each logged a fourth-place finish.

Eastern Wayne ended up seventh in the team standings with 83.5 points.

Charles B. Aycock, directed by head coach Mark Bass, qualified four individuals.

Fourth-seeded Jarrett Covar knocked off the No. 1 and 3 seeds to claim his first-ever regional crown at 215 pounds. He edged the Warriors' Coley 3-1 in the championship match.

"Jarrett found a new level to his wrestling ability," said Bass. "He and Foy have wrestled a handful of epic bouts this season and this was no different."

Fellow Golden Falcons Drake Gurley (119), Kevin Carmel (135) and heavyweight Khiry Reid each settled for second place. All three lost semifinal-round matches and aggressively worked their way back into medal contention.

"They all wrestled extremely well," said Bass.

Aycock placed third in team action with 99.5 points -- just 3.5 points behind West Brunswick.

"It was a true workman-like effort for our wrestling team this weekend," said Bass. "Other than the four qualifiers, we had three or four other wrestlers who worked their way back through the consolation rounds ... only to fall short at the end.

"We finished the weekend a little short of some of the individual and team goals we had set, but it was not due to lack of effort."

Bass heaped praise on four-year varsity performer Josh Grimes, who missed two weeks of action due to a severe ear injury. Grimes underwent surgery, returned to practice just two days and narrowly missed qualifying for the finals.

Southern Wayne's Tristan Bass emerged a regional champion at 145 pounds with a 5-2 conquest of Nash Central's Jasmine Cooper. Heavyweight Josh Robinson injury defaulted in the title match and John Futrell placed third at 160 pounds. Dustin Richards finished fourth at 140.

1-A/2-A East

NEWPORT -- Three Rosewood wrestlers qualified for the season-ending NCHSAA Championships.

Senior Olivia Neal became the county's and state's first-ever state qualifier with a third-place finish at 103 pounds. Senior Trevor Morris placed second at heavyweight and junior Josh Holmes grabbed third at 145 pounds.

Morris, however, looks doubtful for the state finals. During the regional championship against top-seeded Hunter Barber of Tarboro, Morris threw Barber and injured his knee. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI this week.

Holmes posted four pins on the way to a bronze medal.

"Josh wrestled great all weekend," said Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson. "Overall, I was extremely pleased with our wrestlers' performances this weekend."